New Jersey FFs Battle Large Storage Tank Fire

Shortly before 1 p.m. on an extremely hot June 1st day Camden County NJ Fire Radio was receiving numerous phone calls for a fire in a junk yard in the 1400 block of Ferry Avenue in the South Camden section of the City. Camden Fire fighters at the Liberty Street Station that is located about six blocks away were just finishing up a training session. Firefighter Brian Beach of Rescue 1 was just going out the back door and observed an huge black column of smoke that was drifting towards the station. He ran in to tell Battalion Chief 1 Mark Kogut as the tones were now going out for the fire.

Members of Engine 8, Rescue 1 knew that they were heading towards a working fire. Just minutes later as they arrived Captain Herb Leary of Engine Co. 8 reported that he had a large empty storage tank on fire in the center of the junkyard. Battalion Chief 1 Mark Kogut was now arriving and he informed fire radio that he would be using All Hands working at this fire. Fire radio dispatched Squad Co. 7 on the All Hands fire.

Companies were now laying in their largest lines as Engine Co. 8 made their way into the junkyard and were leading off with a 2 1/2 inch Attack Line. Engine Co. 8 was able to dump their water tank to make a quick knock down just as Engine Co. 1 was charging their line backing up Engine Co. 8. Huge black smoke could be seen for miles throughout the city. Within 10 minutes firefighters were able to have most of the fire knocked down and in a few minutes later the fire was completely extinguished.

Battalion Chief Kogut was able to quickly place the fire Under Control. It was later discovered that workmen were trying to remove a rubber liner from inside the storage tank and sparks from their torches ignited it causing the fire.

As firefighters were packing the hose lines Battalion Chief Kogut's leg was entangled in one of the hose lines along with another firefighter causing both of them to fall. Chief Kogut injured his knee and back and was transported to the hospital by Camden EMS Unit.